Zucchini and Almond Pasta Salad

Looking for something to bring to a Memorial day cookout this weekend? Well I got you covered! This crowd pleasing summer time pasta salad is quick, easy and the excellent choice for pot lucks, cookouts and get togethers. Instead of a pasta salad loaded with tons of mayo, this pasta salad has a wonderful lemony dressing. Whole wheat pasta, slivers of parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, juicy cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and zucchini are tossed with a lemony dressing that is just begging to be served at your next summer party.

Zucchini and Almond Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 servings


1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 4 small ones), sliced very thinly
1 teaspoon salt
13.5 ounce box of whole grain rotini pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup kalamata olives, cut in half
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced with a peeler
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled (toast at 300˚ for about 10 minutes)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips


Combine zucchini and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large colander set over a large bowl or in sink; let it sit for 20 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in salted water; drain and cool.
In a large bowl combine zucchini, cooled pasta, tomatoes, olives, cheese and almonds.
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper and salt together. Toss with salad and adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with the basil leaves and serve.

Source: adapted from In the Kitchen with Kath, orginally from Smitten Kitchen

24 Responses to “Zucchini and Almond Pasta Salad”

  1. #
    kate — May 23, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    This dish makes me so excited for summer, I have a ton of zucchini in my fridge right now :)

  2. #
    Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow — May 23, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    Yum! That looks so fresh and wonderful! I can’t wait until my first zucchini grows!

  3. #
    sweetlife — May 23, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    This would be perfect for this weekend!! we enjoy a great potluck!! thanks for sharing, added to our list!


  4. #
    Lena — May 23, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    nice selection of ingredients for a delighting salad!

  5. #
    Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 — May 23, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    I’m always looking for new potluck salad recipes for the summer. This one looks great, and I love that it has whole wheat noodles. The almonds are really different for a pasta salad but I bet they add great crunch.

  6. #
    Jenny — May 23, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Wow this looks really tasty, I need to run out and get me some zucchini asap! :D

  7. #
    tryityoumightlikeit — May 23, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    Cristina – this looks perfect for a summer BBQ. How do you do it? How do you find time to have a post everyday? You are such a superstar and so inspiring.

  8. #
    Presley's Pantry — May 23, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    I love that you used the spiral pasta! Sounds delish! If you get a chance check out the pasta salad I just posted…. I think you’ll like it!

    P.s. I’m loving your blog!

  9. #
    freshandfoodie — May 23, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

    I love making salads like this as a brown bag lunch. Yous looks fab!

  10. #
    Michelle — May 23, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    This looks just perfect for a summertime BBQ!

  11. #
    Tina @ vanillandspice — May 23, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Everything in this salad works really well together, and I love that you added olives. This looks really good!

  12. #
    katshealthcorner — May 23, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Your Pasta is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

  13. #
    Caroline — May 23, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    Love that there’s no mayo in this pasta salad–it always makes the dish too heavy, and of course, unhealthy! Substituting a light lemon dressing is a fantastic idea. :)

  14. #
    gluttonandstudent — May 23, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    This dish is perfect for summer, which isn’t so far away. I can’t wait to make it! I love the idea of tossing in toasted almonds – you’d never realize how much flavor they add.

  15. #
    Dana@TheSundaySweet — May 23, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    I love pasta salads!! I’ve never seen one call for almonds before, but I’m liking it. Might just have to save this one :) Thank you for sharing!

  16. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — May 23, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    I love the addition of slivered almonds to a pasta salad for crunch, I need to try that!

  17. #
    happywhennothungry — May 23, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    This looks so fresh and delicious and perfect for a nice summer bbq!

  18. #
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — May 23, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    I’m always looking for a new pasta salad recipe. This looks awesome! I love the addition of kalamata olives. Thanks for sharing!

  19. #
    The Teenage Taste — May 24, 2011 @ 6:47 am

    Wow, this looks so yummy and so summer-y! I grow zucchini and tomatoes in my garden so this will be a snap to assemble – no grocery shopping required!

  20. #
    Sara — May 25, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    This looks wonderful, so colorful, and ideal for summer.

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